While most moles are not a threat to health, they often cause people to feel self-conscious or even embarrassed when these skin discolorations are large or highly visible. Some people have just one or a few moles for most of their lives and others develop more of them as they age, sometimes hundreds more. If you are dealing with a mole or moles on your skin, the following information will help you learn more about them, including some removal methods.
What is a mole?
Moles are more than just a skin discoloration. In fact, they are actually caused by melanocytes in the skin that begin to grow abnormally in clumps or clusters, causing the discolored, sometimes raised areas known as moles.
When is a mole a cause for concern?
In most cases, moles are more of a cosmetic issue than a health concern. However, some moles are a cause for concern due to the potential for them to be or become cancerous. The clues that a mole may possibly be melanoma, dysplastic nevi or some other type of skin cancer include one or more of the following descriptors:
- it is asymmetrical in shape, with one half looking different that the other
- it has irregular borders
- it has uneven colors, possibly including one or more of the following: brown, tan, black, white, gray, pink, red, or even blue
- it has a diameter that increases or shrinks
- it undergoes noticeable changes over a period of time
- it changes in texture, height or shape
- it becomes dry, scaly, hard or lumpy
- it begins to itch, bleed or ooze
Are there any safe home remedies for moles?
If a mole is causing you to be self-conscious but does not appear to be cancerous, there are a few home remedies that can be tried to lighten or remove the mole. These include the following:
- bandaging the mole with a freshly crushed clove of garlic every night for several days or until the mole is gone -- be sure to coat the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly to protect it from exposure to the garlic juice, which can cause irritation
- taping a cotton ball onto the mole each night that has been moistened with apple cider vinegar -- the acid in the vinegar can sometimes cause moles to scab over and then fall off with continued exposure
- applying a paste made of ground flax sees and raw honey three times per day for several weeks -- this will help soften raised moles and encourage them to fall off
- using castor oil, mixed with a bit of baking soda and a crushed, plain aspirin tablet to rub into each mole twice a day for at least a month or until the mole is gone - the combination is said to act as a discutient, causing the mole to go away
- using some type of juice that contains high levels of citric acid, such as that from fresh pineapple, lemon or grapefruit juice on a cotton ball taped to the mole each night until the mole is gone - the acid in these juices helps to lighten and fade the dark pigmentation of some moles over time
When using a home remedy to lighten or remove a mole, remember to only attempt to do so if the mole has been evaluated by a doctor and determined not to be cancerous or precancerous in nature. In addition, remember that using any home remedy to remove or lessen the appearance of a mole is likely to take several weeks or months before you see noticeable results. Your doctor can offer much faster options, such as freezing or surgical mole removal options that are relatively painless and yield more immediate results. In most cases, these can be done in the doctor's office, using only a local anesthetic and will rarely require any changes to be made in your normal daily activities.